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America Needs Leaders Like Elaine Chao
US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao speaks during a news conference at the US Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, DC, on September 19, 2019. (ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images)

America Needs Leaders Like Elaine Chao

Michelle Park Steel & Young Kim

As immigrants to the U.S., we are proud to be among the first Korean-American women to serve in Congress. We have sought, and encouraged others to seek, mentors who broke barriers for women and minorities. Secretary Elaine Chao is one of the women we have looked up to and counted on for guidance and advice throughout our careers.

When she became labor secretary in 2001, the Taiwan-born Ms. Chao was the first Asian-American woman appointed to a president’s cabinet. She is the longest-serving cabinet member since World War II, having also served as President Trump’s transportation secretary. Countless Asian-Americans like us have benefited from her tireless commitment to breaking barriers since she first came to this country on a cargo ship.

As we build on her legacy and help inspire all Americans to achieve their dreams, we find it necessary to confront a disturbing distortion of her record. A barrage of news stories in the past week have highlighted an investigation of her conduct as transportation secretary. The Justice Department closed the probe without action and the ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee concluded that Ms. Chao “followed ethics and financial disclosure rules.” That hasn’t stopped the media from suggesting otherwise.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

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